Craig John Counsell (born August 21, 1970, in South Bend, Indiana) is a Major League Baseball infielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. He has played for the Brewers (two occasions), Arizona Diamondbacks (two occasions), Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Counsell grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and went to Whitefish Bay High School, where he played baseball. His father worked for the Milwaukee Brewers. He attended college at the University of Notre Dame.
Counsell has also spent off-seasons coaching middle school basketball at University School of Milwaukee.
He and his wife Michelle have 4 children, sons Brady and Jack and daughters Finley and Rowen.
Counsell is particularly known for his unusual batting stance, where he points the bat straight up into the air as high as he can and moves it back and forth in an erratic fashion. While batting, almost his entire back is pointed towards the pitcher, though his feet remain perpendicular with the pitcher's mound. Counsell is also one of very few Major Leaguers not to wear batting gloves. He is not known for hitting far with his stance but he can run fast.
As of the 2009 season, Counsell has changed to a traditional batting stance.
Counsell won the 2001 National League Championship Series MVP award while on his first tour with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Counsell was on-base for the winning scoring plays of two World Series Game 7's. He scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for the Marlins on an Edgar Rentería single over pitcher Charles Nagy's head, after tying that game in the bottom of the ninth with a sacrifice fly. He was also hit by a pitch by Mariano Rivera to load the bases for Luis Gonzalez in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, after which Gonzalez drove in the winning run for the Diamondbacks, a bloop single over the drawn-in infield which ended the Yankees hopes of four straight World Series titles. He recorded his 1,000th career hit on August 16, 2008 against Derek Lowe of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In front of a sold out crowd on his final game with the Arizona Diamondbacks on October 1, 2006, Counsell hit a solo home run, his fourth of the season.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|National League Championship Series MVP|